Every month a sexually mature female’s ovary releases an egg cell that travels towards the uterus through the Fallopian tube. The uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy by developing a uterine lining made of tissue and blood vessels. This lining is called endometrium. If the egg is not fertilized and pregnancy does not occur, the uterine lining is shed and it exits the body through the vagina as a mixture of blood and tissue over a course of 3 to 7 days. This is called menstruation (pronounced: mens-troo-A-shun) or a period. The cycle starts over again with an egg that begins to mature in one of the ovaries. This cycle is called menstrual cycle and is generally 25 to 35 days long.
When does menstruation start and stop?
A girl may experience her first period between the ages of 9 to 14. The exact age at which this happens is variable and differs from one person to another. A sexually mature girl menstruates once in every 29 to 31 days. During pregnancy the uterine lining is utilized to nourish the baby in the uterus and hence menstruation does not happen. It starts again after the baby is born. Menstruation ceases between the ages of 40 to 50 varying on an individual basis. This marks the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life and is known as menopause.
How long does menstruation last?
On an average a period lasts between 3 to 5 days. It is normal for a girl to have irregular periods in the beginning. During this time, the duration of her periods may vary from as short as 2 days to as long as 7 days. It can take up to a year for periods to become regular.
What is the length of a menstrual cycle?
Menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of period to the first day of the next period. For most women the menstrual cycle is between 21 to 35 days.
Reynu joined WomenNow from the beginning on. She loves writing and combines this with her love for India, the country her parents emigrated from to the United States looking for a better life and opportunities. Studying litterature and journalism helped laid the foundation for her writing skills. She is into badminton and an avid runner. Her dream is to live between New York and Mumbai.